The Damned (2014)

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Alright guys, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a look at some new flicks, so the next few reviews will be movies from 2013/2014, that I either missed or just haven’t seen yet. These ones aren’t in my collection, but maybe it’ll help you guys find some great new (or terrible new) flicks to enjoy.

Going to start things off with a pretty cool little demon-possession flick, 2014’s The Damned. This one, according to IMDB, goes as follows :

A family are involved in an accident and take refuge in a secluded inn, where they free a girl locked in a basement without knowing she’s an ancient evil.

I didn’t know what to think about this before I threw it on. Directed by Victori Garcia (the man who helmed my hands-down least favorite horror film of all time Hellraiser : Revalations), this appears to be the first film that allowed him full creative control. Prior to this movie, he was the director of Mirrors 2, Return To House On Haunted Hill, 30 Days Of Night : Blood Trails, and of course the worst movie ever… however, based on the jump in quality with The Damned, I have a feeling he felt considerably more free, and wasn’t just after the work. Another surprise was the writer, Richard D’Ovidio, who previously penned Thir13en Ghosts, and The Call. All around, based on the previous work of both of these guys, this might have been one I avoided. I can honestly say, I’m glad that I didn’t.

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The movie begins with some pretty flat seeming characters, and felt quite generic. That being said, the style actually seemed to change pretty drastically and became quite cool and atmospheric. The effects are minimal, and effective, and the actors seemed to get their shit together part way through the movie. The young girl who plays the ‘ancient evil’ is pretty effective and creepy, though her performance is pretty short lived once the the demon starts to switch bodies. The story moves along at a pretty good clip, and delivers on some pretty good tension all the way through, it does have fall a little bit flat from time to time, but not enough to kill the movie or stop it dead.

I will say this, the story comes off a little bit heavy handed with the occasional voice over about secrets, and the fact that all of these characters are also tortured souls with deep dark secrets to be exploited. As a result, there are some moments that get a little bit eye-rolly, but overall it’s actually pretty effective and does make a reasonable (albeit heavy handed) point about people’s secrets coming back to haunt you.

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All that said, the movie is occasionally frightening, grim, and even becomes quite bleak and heavy near the end. It’s also not a movie that forces a happy ending, and the ending feels natural without sequel baiting. That really was a breath of fresh air to have a movie end in a bit of a non-traditional, and down-note like this one did.

So, all in all, this is a fun movie, that delivers a pretty satisfying level of scares throughout. It might not make anyone’s top-10 of all time list, but it really is one of the better horror films I’ve seen this year. Go ahead and give it a watch, you could certainly do worse! Also, never, ever, ever watch Hellrasier: Revelations.

Final Grade : B-

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